Education | Environment

DOI reaches settlement with EPA for conditions at Indian schools





The Interior Department agreed to a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency to address poor conditions at Indian schools.

EPA lodged "several hundred" violations of waste, water, air, toxics and community right-to-know laws at 72 schools and 27 water systems under the authority of the Bureau of Indian Education. Most of the schools affected are in Arizona and New Mexico.

Children are more vulnerable to environmental exposures than adults, which is why ensuring that schools provide safe, healthy learning environments for our children, particularly in tribal communities, is a top priority for EPA,” Cynthia Giles, the assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said in a press release.

The settlement requires DOI to correct the violations at all of the schools and water systems. The violations must be corrected within 90 days and verified by independent, third-party auditors.

DOI also agreed to a civil penalty of $234,844. More information can be found at www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/federal/bia-settlement.html.

Get the Story:
Press Release: More than 80 Tribal Schools in Arizona, Navajo Nation to improve environmental management (EPA 8/23)